Join Riverfront Times Press Club. Because No News is Bad News.

Richard Thompson 

Front Parlour Ballads (Cooking Vinyl)

Singer/guitarist Richard Thompson's songs of darkness and despair aren't an easy listen, given his doleful vocals, tangled and turbulent melodies, and observational narratives that strike a not-so-delicate balance between irony and invective. Nevertheless, as a founder of Fairport Convention, the '60s band at the center of Britain's folk-rock fusion, Thompson is still revered for his ability to tap into the traditional. That's evident on the all-acoustic Front Parlour Ballads, which draws on early-twentieth-century musical forms in its downcast tales of lovers, losers and lechers. "Let It Blow," with its driving refrain, is the most riveting of the bunch, though the tender "Precious One" and the rousing "The Boys of Mutton Street" are also excellent. Elsewhere, though, the doom, gloom and bittersweet circumstances become so ponderous that they actually impede the proceedings. But despite their sometimes skewed perspective, these songs mark another triumph for Thompson.

Riverfront Times works for you, and your support is essential.

Our small but mighty local team works tirelessly to bring you high-quality, uncensored news and cultural coverage of St. Louis and beyond.

Unlike many newspapers, ours is free – and we'd like to keep it that way, because we believe, now more than ever, everyone deserves access to accurate, independent coverage of their community.

Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing pledge, your support helps keep St. Louis' true free press free.

Read the Digital Print Issue

September 30, 2020

View more issues


Never miss a beat

Sign Up Now

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.

Best Things to Do In St. Louis

© 2020 Riverfront Times

Website powered by Foundation